If you haven’t been through church pain, you probably will. We’re all fallen people—redeemed sinners—which means we sometimes still reflect our fallenness. Church pain, though, can be some of the deepest pain. Here’s why:
- We expect better. After all, this is the church. God’s people. They’re supposed to act Christian. Things shouldn’t be this way.
- We’re seldom prepared for it. We don’t go looking for conflict with church people. When it comes, it catches us off guard.
- We love God’s people. Deeply, even. God’s people can be great. Church battles, though, mangle relationships with those same people—and the depth of our love makes that pain even deeper.
- We don’t understand it. Why would God’s people act like they do sometimes? And, why would God allow it to happen? Our questions don’t help our pain.
- We look to the church for peace, not pain. Church ought to be our safe place—the one gathering where we can just rest our souls. Conflict robs us of that safety.
- It affects a big part of our lives. If we’re invested with a congregation, our church becomes an investment of all we have. That means any church pain affects all we are.
- It often doesn’t make sense. We elevate our preferences to the level of the gospel, guard our turf as if God’s church will disappear without us, and fight against those we call “brother” and “sister.” Church pain really hurts when the whole situation is dumb.
- It just gets old. When you’ve faced church pain before and it happens again, you just get tired of it. It’s easy to wonder if being a part of a congregation is even worth it.
If you’re struggling with church pain, please know that I’ve already prayed for all my readers today. Maybe these posts will help you, too: